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Driving the Ultimate Pushrod 356, the SC/GT

Porsche nomenclature can be confusing. In the world of 356s, the Carreras were the top of the heap. The lightweight quad-cam Carreras and Carrera 2s were the GT3s of their day; they were deeply specialized, performance-first machines. Today, however, the Carrera name denotes the bottom of the 911 hierarchy. The SC/GT fit somewhere between the standard pushrod-four powered 356 models and the Carrera 2, and represents the ultimate evolution of the pushrod-powered cars. With aluminum body panels and a potent 1600cc flat-four, these are among the rarest and most desirable of all 356s.

This example was acquired by Bruce Anderson from the original owner in 1965, and Bruce reportedly competed in more than 200 autocrosses with the lightweight car early in his ownership. In 1969 he took the car down to bare metal and performed its first restoration, after which it began a life of concours entries. The car won first in class at Hillsborough, third in class at Pebble Beach, and more with Mr. Anderson.

The car then changed hands several times from the 70s through the early 2000s, and was recently restored by Road Scholars. More photos are available on their website, and believe us, it’s drool-worthy. Wear a bib.

Though the pushrod engine is a far cry from the wailing four-cam, the final SC variants are delightful and potent. The joyful chatter at idle transitions into a purposeful shout as the revs climb, and in a lightweight SC/GT, this car promises to be a serious performer on the road or the concours field. We absolutely love it.

 

 
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Around the world in a lifted 928 S4

Safari and rally style Porsches are the hottest thing at the moment. From Leh Keen’s 911s to ASFOLT’s 924S, getting a bit more clearance under a Porsche seems like the hippest thing in the world. To our knowledge though, no one has seriously attempted to build a Safari-style 928. With a palpable sense of Gallic imperturbability Philippe Delaporte and his sons built a 928 S4 to circle the globe. These fearless Frenchmen took a road literally less traveled, and used the Silk Road to cross much of the ancient near-East and Asia.

While the video is lacking somewhat in technical details, a few things are obvious- the car has been lifted, and the Cup I wheels are fitted with all-terrain tires. A spare is mounted to the roof, and a second full-size spare is installed in the cargo area. Phillipe notes that they added an 8mm aluminum skid plate along the bottom of the car, and a small bash bar has been added to the front bumper. It all seems quite simple.

Yet this, a Porsche notorious for its complexity and difficulty of maintenance, apparently circled the globe without issue. It never failed to start in mounting snow, and it did its part opening the world to the Frenchmen. When they arrived at the Uzbek border the guard was so agog at the 5-liter engine, they entered the country at full throttle for his benefit. Clearly the Porsche 928 S4 is an instrument of peace, love, and goodwill.

We love seeing a transaxle Porsche used this way. Along with cars like Project Luna, a 944S that covered 240k miles in 258 days, this 928 is a sign that the only limit on a Porsche is the owner’s imagination.

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Watch This Classic 911S Inspire Your Next Great Road Trip

There’s nothing quite like going for an early morning drive across the Southern California desert in a vintage aircooled 911. The folks at CPR Classics have the right idea here, as they bomb across the wide open expanses in a 1971 911S. If you’ve never had the glorious experience of desert driving like this, well, what are you doing with your life? Hop in your Porsche and head for the American Southwest, as it’s just spectacular. With a variety of occasionally snowcapped mountaintops dotting the otherwise dry and hot landscape, there are spectacular views in all directions.

It’s spring all across this great nation, and there are tons of amazing vistas to be spotted. If you haven’t been on a cross country road trip in a while, invent a reason to do so. Find a spot on the map about 2000 miles away and head for it. Drive as far as you can in a day, stay in nice hotels, stopping for local cuisine and finding the best back country driving roads, of course. Make a week, a month, a year of it if you must. It’s well worth the time and money spent to travel. Take someone you love. Treat yourself.

Heck, 99% of work can be done from anywhere with internet and a telephone these days, so you could probably even take your work with you to extend the trip another month or so. This video was meant to get people dreaming on a work day, and it absolutely worked for me. Lets all go on a nice Porsche road trip. What do you say?

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Formula E: Testing in Spain, and Starting From Zero

For Porsche, one of the most successful brands in motorsports history, it can be hard to stay humble. In recognition of their new effort, Porsche has created a video to remind everyone that new circumstances require starting anew, not resting on their laurels and past successes. This eighty-eight second video below doesn’t tell much about the program, and hints that the brand has a lot to learn about Formula E. With just fifteen days of testing allowed before the start of the 2019-2020 season, they certainly have a lot to learn in a very short span of time.

Testing in Spain

Porsche’s Formula E car first took to the track in March for the first of 15 days of pre-season testing, and returned to the track in Spain for three days of additional testing with Brendon Hartley and Neel Jani. As we noted in our previous feature on the new car, the Porsche will share its Spark chassis with the other cars on the grid. Powertrain technology is proprietary to each team, and must not exceed 250kW plus a 10% overboost mode. Batteries must last the duration of an entire 45 minute plus-one-lap race.

While Jani felt confident following today’s tests, Porsche is remaining justifiably coy about how their car is performing. While we may not know lap times, or how the batteries are working, we can say with some certainty that the black carbon racer looks positively mean on track. This is what Jani, Brendon Hartley, Amiel Lindesay, and Malte Huneke had to say on the day’s progress:

Neel Jani (Porsche works driver, regular driver): “I feel the tests with the Porsche Formula E car at Calafat were very positive. It is hugely important to get as many kilometres as possible under our belt during the test phase for our Formula E race car and, in doing so, to gain valuable experience – particularly from a technical point of view. They have been very productive days. I am now looking forward to working with the team over the coming months, as we strive to get the very best out of the Porsche Formula E race car.”

Brendon Hartley (Porsche works driver, test and development driver): “As a test and development driver, it’s my job to support the Porsche Formula E programme with preparations for Season 6 of Formula E. My main focus has been on the simulation work in Weissach. Testing the car on track has been both an enjoyable and challenging experience. It is, of course, enjoyable to drive the car, however, contributing and working with the talented group of people at Porsche on this project is also a real pleasure. »

Amiel Lindesay (Team Manager): “We are very happy with the Porsche Formula E tests at Calafat. We completed an extensive test programme and have laid the foundations for the coming months. The data generated will form a good basis. We will now analyse it in detail to be able to prepare as well as possible for the coming test work.”

Malte Huneke (Technical Project Leader): “The findings from these tests will allow us to take a big step forward in the development of the Porsche powertrain. The primary focus in this phase of preparations is on reliability, before we then concentrate on performance at a later date. We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but development is completely on track.“

Gallery

 

 
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Protecting a 911 Safari with XPEL Film and Ceramic Coatings

We love Leh Keen’s Safari 911s. In keeping with our belief that the 911 is a perfect all-rounder, lifting one and fitting knobby tires seems to take nothing from the experience. Mr. Keen’s cars are brilliant, and Matt Farah’s personal car is one of the most interesting of the lot. Farah’s Safari is finished in Cassis Red, a rather polarizing and slightly urbane color choice for a brawny Safari car. The paintwork, evidently, is largely original, and Matt has wisely opted to protect it. In order to protect the finish Matt has opted for an XPEL film over his entire car.

While most of us would be well-served by XPEL film over just the chip-prone forward surfaces of our cars, Matt’s adventure-friendly ride needed a bit more protection. As such, Chris West from XPEL spent a whopping five days applying a self-healing extruded Urethane film to the entire vehicle. This proprietary film uses a topcoat based on current self-healing automotive topcoats. This design allows minor scratches in the finish to disappear over time. Used in conjunction with ceramic coatings this finish is both durable and easy to clean.

While XPEL does have patterns for many commonly-protected parts of cars, applying a film to an entire vehicle is a different matter. Mr. West had to custom-cut post of the panels installed on Matt’s 911. The light pod, mirrors, and much of the trim required custom work, but that is relatively minor given the project’s scope. Chris was able to wrap the car from the base of the A-pillar to the rear of the quarter panel with a single sheet of film to avoid visible seams.

While Project 944 GTS and Project Mello Yello may not benefit much from this treatment, those among our readership with finer paintwork may be interested in the full-car protection option.

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